Housing facts

Housing need in Wellington

There were 1819 applications on the Ministry of Social Development social housing register for the Wellington region (Wellington City, Lower Hutt City, Upper Hutt City and Porirua) at 30 September 2020.

Wellington City
Priority A = 723
Priority B = 49
Total = 772

Lower Hutt City
Priority A = 547
Priority B = 64
Total = 611

Upper Hutt City
Priority A = 156
Priority B = 19
Total = 175

Porirua City
Priority A = 310
Priority B = 26
Total = 336

Total number of applications = 1894

Source: Ministry of Social Development. https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/housing

Affordability and Levels of Renting in Wellington

Rents in Wellington City are the highest in New Zealand after Auckland as at end September 2020.

Source: New Zealand Residential Rental Survey, December 2020.
Massey University - New Zealand Residential Rental Survey to Sept 2020

Wellington Region ended 2020 as the most expensive in the country to rent after the median weekly rent in the capital city climbed 5.5 per cent in the last year, according to the Trade Me Rental Price Index. The median weekly rent in Wellington City cracked the $600 mark for the first time ever in December 2020.

Source: Trade Me Property Rental Price Index Report

Overcrowding in Wellington

15.4% of people in Porirua and 11.6% of people in Wellington City live in crowded households. The national average is 10.4%.

Source: 2018 Census people living in crowded households – corrected 29 April 2020. Statistics New Zealand.

Affordability of Home Ownership in Wellington

In a 2020 international survey of housing affordability, homes in Wellington are classed being 'severely unaffordable'.

The Demographica International Housing Affordability Survey uses the 'median multiple' to measure affordability.  This figure is the median house price divided by the median household income.  The higher the figure, the less affordable housing becomes.

When comparing housing affordability between 2018 and 2019, the median multiple fell in Auckland, remained the same in Christchurch, and increased in Wellington.

Source: 16th Annual, Demographia International, Housing Affordability Survey (2019: 3rd Quarter)

A Stocktake of New Zealand's Housing - February 2018 

582,000 of households in New Zealand are renters (page 7).

Home ownership rates have fallen to a 60-year low and could fall further (page 13).

Median house sale prices rose nationally by around 40% over the past 10 years and by 30% over the past five years.

The average construction cost of an ‘average house’ – rather than an apartment – has risen 28% over the past five years and by 180% over the past 20 years (page 24).

Over the last decade the number of dwellings owned or managed by Housing NZ peaked in mid-2011 at 69,717 units, falling to 62,917 units in June 2017 (page 27).

It appears from the information available in MSD’s purchasing strategy that of the 2,600 additional Income-Related Rent subsidised units, which have been identified, less than 10%, or just 226, are actual new builds (page 29)

The annual cost of the IRR subsidies programme grew by almost 80% or $374 million between 2008 and 2017 to $848 million (page 31).

Source: A Stocktake of New Zealand's Housing, New Zealand Government, Crown Copyright, February 2018. 

About Dwell


Contact us

Dwell Housing Trust provides affordable, quality housing for people in need or on a low income. We are more than a landlord - we ensure our tenants have access to the support they need and want to live well, do well and be well.

We believe that affordable, stable and healthy housing is a fundamental right, and that appropriate housing has long-lasting benefits for the people living within those households and the wider community.

© Dwell Housing Trust 2016

    04 384 4854 /
0800 4 DWELL or 0800 439355
 PO Box 24-179, Manners Street
Wellington 6142, New Zealand
 Level 5, 173-175 Victoria Street
Wellington, New Zealand